Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Our State of food

Posted June 28, 2010

There’s a wonderful article in the latest edition of Our State magazine on the 100 Foods You Must Eat in NC’s 100 Counties. I must admit I can’t wait to try the pimento cheese at Smith’s Drug Store the next time I’m in Rutherford County. Maybe I will also go visit Luckadoo Mountain on that trip in honor of my good friend at NC State University Tim Luckadoo.

I’d like for all of our posters here to identity their home county and offer up one dish at one local restaurant that shouldn’t be missed. This will surely be a lot of fun. 

Our State picked Aged Steaks from The Angus Barn as the “don’t miss” food from Wake County. Cindy and I were at The Angus Barn recently and had a wonderful evening. I was tempted to try the dish honored by the magazine but opted for my own favorite Oscar style ribeye. Chocolate Chess Pie is another one of Van Eure's signature dishes at the Barn. 

The Magnolia Grill’s Twice Baked Grits Souffle won top honors for Durham County. I’ve never tried the House-Cured Pastrami at Neal’s Deli in the Orange County town of Carrboro but apparently I should. For dessert I think I’ll try the sugar cookies at the Cottage Kitchen in Kittrell as recommended by the magazine. 

I grew up on Our State. My parents and grandparents both read it. The magazine is a whole lot more colorful and interesting today. Hats off to Bernard Mann, Lynn Tutterow, Elizabeth Hudson, Diane Summerville and others for a job well done month after month.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • wordwitch Jul 7, 2010

    Hi. I'm from Moore County and I agree that Sweet Basil's is wonderful. I also concur with the comment about their ice tea. Another county treasure would be Miss Belle's in historic Cameron. Tasty soups, salads,and sandwiches. Don't forget to order the grape pie. To die for!! Then you can go buy a quilt ot other antique from the other rooms in the Victorian Queen Anne that houses the restaurant.

  • thinknc Jun 30, 2010

    Hotdogs all the way at the old "Tack Freeman's" grill in Oxford. (I can't remember its current name). It's changed ownership and names a number of times in the past few decades, but the hotdogs are consistently excellent. They are the standard against which my family compares all hotdogs.

  • Salty Jun 29, 2010

    Any Salad at Capt Ratty's in NB is fabulous, get their homemade Balsamic Viniagrette dressing. The Ghent Sandwich Shop aka Pete and Nikki's in NB has the original Hot Hamburger Plate, Toast with patty, fries, cheese and gravy smothering it all. Moore's BBQ is old school Eastern NC style...they still use wood too. Those are a just a few of my favorites.

  • Wheelman Jun 29, 2010

    BLT from the Ragged Garden Inn in Blowing Rock. It's pimento cheese, bacon, fried green tomato and arugala on home made bread. Out of this world taste explosion!

  • bleslie Jun 29, 2010

    Thanks for the New Bern tip. The signature dishes are interesting. Zucchini Marmalade was the winner in Columbus County at the Community Farmers Market in Whiteville.

  • Salty Jun 29, 2010

    Thanks Bill, I live in New Bern and eat lunch and dinner at The Chelsea quite often...never tried their African Bread Pudding though. Their Shrimp and Grits are probably one of their most popular dishes.

  • bleslie Jun 29, 2010

    African Bread Pudding at The Chelsea Restaurant was Our State's pick for Craven County. This restaurant is in New Bern.

  • Salty Jun 29, 2010

    Can anyone tell me what the pick for Craven County was?

  • tpatnode Jun 29, 2010

    Moore County here. Sweet Basil is good but you have to go to Elliots on Linden for the Salmon. Bring plenty of money because a meal there is not cheap. Ashtens and Chef Warrens are also very good, as is 195. Don't miss the prime rib at Beefeaters either. There I have planned a whole week of meals for you here in Moore County!

  • Zelda Jun 28, 2010

    OnlyBurger bacon burger with blue cheese and red onion jam. Unreal!I know it's a relatively new entry, but it's not to be missed.




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie